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Dr. Apathukatha Sivathanu Pillai, a distinguished scientist and Chief Controller, R&D, DRDO is also the CEO & MD of BrahMos Aerospace. An electrical engineer from Madras University and management expert from Harvard Business School, he has contributed in India's major space research programmes along with Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Dr. Satish Dhawan and Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam. During his tenure at ISRO he was a core team member of SLV III project.

Dr. Pillai joined DRDO in 1986 and was the Programme Director of IGMDP under the leadership of Dr. Kalam. His most important contribution has been the development of critical technologies using a network of academic institutions, R&D laboratories, and industries through an innovative consortium approach and technology empowerment. Dr. Pillai evolved the unique concept of the most successful joint venture BrahMos, which is a world leader in the family of cruise missiles. He has been the prime force behind the Joint Venture from the Indian side right from its initial days, advocating "Mind to Market" concept for the joint venture.

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